Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Schools White Paper on School Governance

I have highlighted some quotes relating to School Governance from today's Schools White Paper for those who have not read the whole 95 page document.

"School governors are the unsung heroes of our education system. They are one of the biggest volunteer forces in the country, working in their spare time to promote school improvement and to support head teachers and teachers in their work. To date, governors have not received the recognition, support or attention that they deserve. We will put that right"

"The time and expertise of governors needs to be better respected and deployed.Sometimes governing bodies lack the information or training to challenge effectively and support the head teacher and senior leadership of a school to improve. We will work with the National Governors Association and others to clarify governing body accountabilities and responsibilities to focus more strongly on strategic direction, and encourage schools to appoint trained clerks who can offer expert advice and guidance to support them. We will make it easier for governors to set high expectations and ask challenging questions, by giving governors easier access to data about how their school compares to others, and the National College will offer high-quality training for chairs of governors"

"Governing bodies benefit from having people with business or management experience as members, and employers find that their staff benefit from and enjoy serving as school governors. We will work with the Education Employer Taskforce, Business in the Community, the Institute for Education Business Excellence, the School Governor’s One Stop Shop, and others to encourage business people and professionals to volunteer as governors.

"Many of the most successful schools have smaller governing bodies with
individuals drawn from a wide range of people rooted in the community, such asparents, businesses, local government and the voluntary sector.

"Smaller governing bodies with the right skills are able to be more decisive, supporting the head teacher and championing high standards. We will legislate in the forthcoming Education Bill so that all schools can establish smaller governing bodies with appointments primarily focused on skills."

"From early 2012 we will allow all schools to adopt this more flexible model of school governance if they choose to, while ensuring a minimum of two parent governors. Schools which currently have a majority of governors appointed by a foundation (often faith voluntary aided schools) will continue to do so"

10 key questions for School governors to ask

1. What are the school’s values? Are they reflected in our long term
development plans?

2. How are we going to raise standards for all children, including the most
and least able, those with Special Educational Needs, boys and girls, and
any who are currently underachieving?

3. Have we got the right staff and the right development and reward

4. Do we have a sound financial strategy, get good value for money and have
robust procurement and financial systems?

5. Do we keep our buildings and other assets in good condition and are they
well used?

6. How well does the curriculum provide for and stretch all pupils?

7. How well do we keep parents informed and take account of their views?

8. Do we keep children safe and meet the statutory health and safety

9. How is pupil behaviour? Do we tackle the root causes of poor behaviour?

10. Do we offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities which engage all

Very interesting!, I will comment on indivdual aspects of these announcements later when I have had time to digest and think about them.

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